Mittwoch, 30. September 2009
Published on 30. September 2009 in noborder lesvos '09. 0 Comments Tags: bittorrent, download, noborderTV, seed!, share!, video.
Due to popular demand, we make NoborderTV, i.e. all videos from noborder lesvos 09 available on the net. We decided to use the popular p2p filesharing protocol bittorrent as a distribution mechanism in order not to put too much strain on our servers, the torrent comprises 13 films totalling 1.6 GB.
Please don’t just download the films and then kill the torrent: Keep the torrent going, because like this, you help other people to download the films as well. Again: Once the download is completed, do NOT delete the torrent,
and don’t remove the files from the incoming folder.
Sharing is caring!
For all those who don’t know what bittorrent is: Good Operating Systems/Distributions usually come with a client, for Windows and MacOSX, you will need to download one. There are plenty of open source clients.
Sonntag, 27. September 2009
EVERYBODY TO CALAIS November 28th and 29th!
LET'S CROSS THE CHANNEL! The State is sinking!
In 2002, Sarkozy closed a hangar. In 2009, Besson tackles the wastelands
On September 22nd, Besson played the big guy in Calais. In line with Sarkozy,
the minister of national identity and immigration can say he does what he says.
But what did he do? He sent hundreds of cops to round the refugees up
on wasteland (the jungles), most having fled the war made
by Western powers in Afghanistan, Iraq ...
No need to be a medium to know that the situation will not change.
The refugees still want, the vast majority live in Great Britain:
they want to cross the border !
What he did is physically assaulting people (refugees, support activists ...),
created a climate of terror. But ... the Refugees will not evaporate.
Once the storm passes, the cops reinforcements have left,
they will return or they have already gone to other places on the coast,
or even gone as far as Belgium or Holland.
What he has done, this is just posturing for the media to say that the state is there.
The government action came after a careful preparation of the population
For example, the prefecture of Pas de Calais destroyed the water taps ,
thus preventing the refugees from having access to this vital resource!
The hope of the prefecture was obviously to force them to go
into the gardens of houses in order to quench their thirst ...
The goal was obviously that Calaisians come themselves en masse
to demand the repression of refugees, or to help the Cops to do it.
Besson justifies his posturing in the media as the hunt for smugglers.
Without doubt people are probably taking advantage of the situation
created by the State and the European Community.
The best way to fight against trafficking in human beings and to ensure
that the material conditions of that trade no longer exist; said another way,
by closing the border states of the European Community
create the conditions for the general benefit of smugglers.
Besson is a liar. We know that, but it is beyond comprehension.
Why did many refugees not seek political asylum in France?
If they ask asylum here, they are at high risk
of being deported to a country in the sphere of the Dublin agreements.
Clearly, they would be sent back to the country they have been
for the first time and very often that means to Greece!
We can never prevent people from wanting to live where they wish.
We can never prevent people from wanting to immigrate.
Confirming the contrary, is to affirm that there is trafficking in human beings,
affirming that there are people who drown while trying to cross the oceans
Justifying the closure of borders to protect our social rights is also a lie.
In France the borders have been officially closed since 1974.
This has not prevented governments since from attacking our social acquisitions.
The rationale has been used to make scapegoats and to fuel racist ideology
to satisfy reactionary currents.
The only realistic response to resolve the issue of asylum seekers,
the refugees and the undocumented, especially in the Calais,
is to open the borders and to let the people live where they wish,
whatever their reasons.
It is important that we return to Calais to tell Besson,
Hortefeux, Sarkozy that their batons, their cops did not stop us.
That everyone will move and settle freely, that all people should always
be received worthily.
That we are sick that there is always enough money for repression,
beatings, deportations, but there never there is never for the respect
of human dignity!
Sunday, November 29
we will ALL catch the FERRY TOGETHER:
* TO CROSS THE BORDER *
TO MEET ALL THOSE WHO HAD THE CHANCE OF THE CROSSING
AND ALL THOSE WHO SUPPORT THEM
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF DETENTION PRISONS
FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT AND SETTLEMENT
THE OPENING OF BORDERS
PAPERS FOR ALL
NO IMMIGRATION QUOTAS NOR SELECTED IMMIGRATION
LET'S CROSS THE CHANNEL TOGETHER
06 20 91 20 44
06 31 56 17 56
06 89 48 76 92
Samstag, 26. September 2009
Grenzerfahrungen - No Boder Camp Lesvos 09
Politischer Reisebericht zu Theorie und Praxis des EU Grenzregimes und
des No Border Camps auf Lesvos im August 2009 mit Bildern, Videos und
Am 6.10.09 um 19 Uhr im Klapperfeld (ehemaliges Gefängnis in der
Klapperfeld Straße 5 / Frankfurt am Main).
Begleitende Fotoausstellung vom 1.10. bis 17.10. (Öffnungszeiten: jeden
Di & Do Abends)
Für mehr Infos zum Veranstaltungsort: auf der Programmseite des
In the Jungle of Calais with the migrants who were dispelled by the police
By the Autonomous Activists of Lille | Militants for human rights | 23/09/2009 | 10H47
We are a group of persons who for several months have been involved with the migrants within the No Border Network. If we went in the morning of Tuesday 22 September to support the migrants of the Jungle at the moment of their expulsion by the police, it was in the first place because we have real friends among them.
For months, we have been witnessing the arbitrariness of the Calais police, the systematic use of intimidation, gas and batons. We have established the absurdity of the Dublin II system which sends the migrants from one country to another like ping-pong balls, because none of those countries is prepared to accept their asylum applications.
We have noted to which degree the danger represented by people smugglers is nothing but a specter used to warrant the repression used towards the migrants. We saw in particular how much these migrants resemble us and only try to build, wherever they are, a decent and peaceful future, how the clichés circulated against them fall flat at their contact, if one takes the trouble to shake hands with them, to share a cup of tea and to understand the reasons and the terrible conditions of their exile. When we heard about the decision of the government to close the Jungle of Sangatte (Eric Besson, 16 September 2009), we therefore had good reasons to be furious.
We were some ten people leaving at three o’clock to try the impossible, that is to protect the migrants from the violence to be expected from the police. At our arrival we found that more than 150 migrants had gathered around the campfires, with banners in English and in Pashtun expressing their desire to stay and to be respected, supported by numerous militants, waiting for the destruction in a heavy atmosphere.
Panic and siege
At 7h30, we saw the first trucks arrive, then the policemen take their positions around the Jungle to block all the access roads, this to such a degree that many people of Calais could no longer circulate in the vicinity of the Dunes zone. When the policemen started to besiege the premises, the migrants got into a real panic. After some tried to run away, most of them assembled. Our first reflex, together with the other militants who were present, was to encircle the migrants with ropes and banners in order to protect them, which was only symbolic in the face of the horrible and merciless determination of the state.
We all have memories in common with these migrants, at that moment we had in our thoughts the moments spent with them. At our backs were kids of fifteen or sixteen holding on to us, afraid and in tears, while the policemen were trying to break our solidarity. After they ripped off our rope, we formed a human chain, which the policemen broke by pulling our arms, shoulders, heads, anything they could get their hands on.
Confronted with the increasing violence of the policemen, the migrants’ despair built up and because of this we had feelings of hate and rage which made us forget all fear of physical or legal risk and which more or less enabled us to face up to the repression for almost 25 minutes, those of us who had been detached returning to continue to resist.
It is Europe that is insulting them
The policemen tore the migrants lose from our group, dragging along the ground some of them who looked at us imploringly and afraid. Those looks were intolerable for us who before had seen them filled with hope, when those same boys told us their dreams and ambitions for the future. During that raid, the migrants have been considered and treated like game, have been protractedly dehumanized and humiliated. They too will surely not forget what they have been subjected to that morning. It is Europe which has insulted them in their dignity.
While the population of the neighborhood rejoices about the
Journalists have been chased away with the same violence and a camera was destroyed when the police started to lose patience in the face of the sustained opposition of the migrants an militants. The migrants also tried to resist, but were even more targeted by the police when they tried to maintain the lines with us.
We put forward the question: what do the authorities have to fear of the presence of journalists? Why were they removed? We suspect the state of trying to hide from the public its way of action and its methods of
We want to say that we will not forget certain images of violence and despair, which strengthen our determination and our contempt for this system which day by day generates more injustice. From now on what we feel is the magnitude of our inability and a marked loathing for today’s politicians.
It is more than time to put the question of borders in a different way, in order for everybody to understand that closing them is neither a solution, nor a democratic way of solving the economic catastrophe we are all experiencing because of capitalism. The crisis is not due to foreigners, legal or not, but is an integral part of a system that uses unemployment and redundancies as an adjustment variable for a defective machine.
We will fight every day against today’s immigration policies, because they are only the expression of an intolerable and unfortunately ordinary individualism, which tends to make of the foreigner an intruder responsible for all the wrongs of capitalism.
The stigmatization of a population, when it is followed by legal and policing measures taken against it (finger printing, systematic card-indexing, physiognomic checks, denial of elementary rights, deployment of special police forces, group arrests and raids…) can only lead to barbarism.
What has happened in Calais this morning is not a consequence, but a precedent. This is not the first, nor the last mean trick of Europe….
Also posted on Rue89 and on Eco89
* ? Si on ferme la « jungle », il faut rouvrir Sangatte
* ? Tous les articles sur Sangatte
Elsewhere on the Web
* ? Le réseau No Border sur Wikipedia
* ? Le règlement Dublin II, synthèse de la législation de l'UE sur Europa.net
Freitag, 25. September 2009
The “Dignified” Destruction of Calais Refugee “Jungle”
has been uploaded her on the RS blog :
statistics of enclosure…
according to the ministry of mercantile marine, during the period of 11th till 22nd of september, has been arrested 477 migrants (women and men). about the 50% of them were attempting to escape from greece. also, this figure (477) doesn’t count the arrests of the people who were responsible for the transferring.
> Dans la jungle de Calais avec les migrants expulsés par la police
> Par Activistes autonomes lillois | Militants des droits humains | 23/09/2009 | 10H47
> Nous sommes un groupe de personnes investies auprès des migrants depuis plusieurs mois et engagées dans le réseau No Border. Si nous sommes allés mardi 22 au matin soutenir les migrants de la jungle au moment de leur expulsion par la police, c'est avant tout parce que nous avions parmi eux de véritables amis.
> Nous étions témoins depuis des mois de l'arbitraire policier à Calais, de l'usage systématique de l'intimidation, du gaz et des matraques. Nous avons constaté l'absurdité du système Dublin II qui balance les migrants d'un pays à l'autre comme des balles de ping-pong parce qu'aucun d'entre ces pays n'est en mesure d'assumer leurs demandes d'asile.
> Nous avons noté à quel point le danger incarné par les passeurs n'est qu'un épouvantail agité pour légitimer la répression à l'égard des migrants. Nous avons surtout vu combien ces migrants nous ressemblent et ne cherchent qu'à se construire, n'importe où, un avenir décent et paisible, combien les clichés véhiculés contre eux tombent comme des feuilles à leur contact, lorsqu'on prend la peine de leur serrer la main, d'échanger avec eux un thé et de comprendre les causes et les conditions terribles de leur exil. Lorsque nous avons appris la décision du gouvernement de fermer la jungle de Sangatte (Eric besson, le 16 septembre 2009), nous étions donc légitimement en colère.
> Nous étions une petite dizaine à partir à trois heures pour tenter l'impossible, à savoir protéger les migrants de la violence attendue des policiers. Nous avons constaté à notre arrivée que plus de 150 migrants étaient rassemblés autour de feux de camps, avec des banderoles en anglais et en pachto, exprimant leur envie de rester et d'être respectés, soutenus par de nombreux militants, dans une atmosphère pesante, dans l'attente de la destruction.
> Panique et encerclement
> A 7h30, nous avons vu les premiers fourgons arriver puis les policiers prendre position autour de la jungle pour bloquer tous les accès, au point que de nombreux Calaisiens ne pouvaient plus circuler à proximité de la zone des Dunes. Lorsque les policiers ont commencé à investir les lieux, une véritable panique s'est emparée des migrants. Après que certains ont essayé de fuir, la plupart s'est alors rassemblée. Notre premier réflexe, avec les autres militants présents, a été d'encercler les migrants avec des cordes et des banderoles afin de les protéger, ce qui n'était que symbolique face à l'horrible et implacable détermination de l'Etat.
> Nous avons tous des souvenirs en commun avec ces migrants, nous avions à ce moment à l'esprit les moments passés avec eux. Nous avions dans notre dos des gosses de quinze ou seize ans accrochés à nous, effrayés et en larmes, pendant que les policiers essayaient de nous désolidariser. Après qu'ils ont arraché notre corde, nous avons formé une chaine humaine que les policiers ont rompu en nous tirant par les bras, les épaules, la tête, tout ce qu'ils pouvaient attraper.
> Face à la violence toujours plus appuyée des policiers, la détresse des migrants allait crescendo et nous ressentions face à ça un sentiment de haine et de rage nous faisant oublier toute crainte des risques physiques ou juridiques, ce qui nous a permis à peu de tenir tête durant près de vingt-cinq minutes face à la répression, ceux de nous qui étaient dégagés revenant pour continuer de résister.
> C'est l'Europe qui les insulte
> Les policiers arrachaient les migrants au groupe, trainant certains d'entre eux sur le sol, qui nous regardaient implorant et apeurés. Ces regards étaient insoutenables pour nous qui auparavant y avions vu l'espoir, lorsque ces mêmes garçons nous racontaient leurs rêves et ambitions pour l'avenir. Dans cette rafle, les migrants ont été considérés et traités comme du gibier, déshumanisés et humiliés pour longtemps. Eux aussi ne risquent pas d'oublier ce qu'on leur a infligé ce matin. C'est l'Europe qui les a insultés dans leur dignité.
> Tandis que la population du quartier se réjouit du « succès » de l'opération, nous déplorons que migrants et militants aient été l'objet d'un spectacle organisé pour les médias et l'opinion, dans le but de mettre en scène une mascarade politique visant à faire croire à une résolution du problème, alors qu'il ne s'agit que d'une triste opération de communication du gouvernement et de l'Union européenne.
> Les journalistes ont été expulsés avec la même violence et une caméra a été détruite lorsque les policiers ont commencé à perdre patience face à l'opposition soutenue des migrants et militants. Les migrants essayaient eux aussi de résister, mais étaient davantage la cible des policiers lorsqu'ils tentaient de maintenir les lignes avec nous.
> Nous posons la question : qu'est-ce que les autorités ont à craindre de la présence des journalistes ? Pourquoi les ont-ils éloignés ? Nous soupçonnons l'Etat de chercher à cacher au public sa façon d'agir et ses méthodes pour « résoudre » la question des migrants.
> Nous tenons à dire que nous n'oublierons pas certaines images de violences et de détresse, qui renforcent notre détermination et notre mépris pour ce système qui génère chaque jour plus d'injustice. Ce que nous ressentons désormais, c'est l'étendue de notre impuissance et un dégoût prononcé pour les politiques actuelles.
> Il est plus que temps de poser autrement la question des frontières, afin que chacun comprenne que la fermeture n'est ni une solution, ni un moyen démocratique de résoudre la catastrophe économique que nous vivons tous à cause du capitalisme. La crise n'est pas le fait des étrangers, légaux ou non, elle est partie intégrante d'un système qui se sert du chômage et des licenciements comme d'une variable d'ajustement pour une machine bancale.
> Nous nous battons quotidiennement contre les politiques d'immigration actuelles, car elles ne sont que l'expression d'un individualisme insupportable et malheureusement ordinaire qui tend à faire de l'étranger un intrus responsable de tous les maux de capitalisme. La stigmatisation d'une population, si elle est suivie de mesures législatives et policières à son encontre (prise d'empreintes, fichage systématique, contrôle au faciès, dénis de droits élémentaires, mise en place de polices spécifiques, arrestations groupées et rafles…) ne peut aboutir qu'à la barbarie.
> Ce qu'il s'est passé à Calais ce matin n'est pas une conséquence, mais un précédent. L'Europe n'en est ni à son premier ni à son dernier coup-bas…
> A lire aussi sur Rue89 et sur Eco89
> * ► Si on ferme la « jungle », il faut rouvrir Sangatte
> * ► Tous les articles sur Sangatte
> Ailleurs sur le Web
> * ► Le réseau No Border sur Wikipedia
> * ► Le règlement Dublin II, synthèse de la législation de l'UE sur Europa.net
Donnerstag, 24. September 2009
Mittwoch, 23. September 2009
Press release, September 23rd 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact:
From UK : 0044752188562
CLEARING THE JUNGLE: THE AFTERMATH
Today activists in Calais are seeing the fall-out from the massive PR exercise that was the clearance of the Pashtun ‘Jungle’. Yesterday 600 police, in a massive show of force designed specifically for the international media,  arrested 278 migrants, including 132 mainly traumatised minors. Most of the adults were either taken police stations or to the Lille-Lesquin detention centre for processing. It is believed that the minors will be taken to the Metz-Queuleu juvenile prison.
Many of the migrants that had remained in the ‘Jungle’ and were arrested yeaterday had already either received their Green Cards or had made applications to remain in France. As a consequence, activists in Calais are already coming across migrants who have been released from detention onto the streets with nowhere to go. Many are telling the same story: the police have robbed them of their clothes, money and mobile phones.  They are in a much worse situation now than they were when they stood around fires at dawn yesterday morning waiting to be arrested.
Meanwhile the police, following Eric Besson’s announcement that all the other Calais squats and ‘jungles’ will be closed by Friday,  are continuing to hunt down migrants in the town.  And one thing that we fear is that, now that the world’s media have got their story and have left Calais, the kid gloves will come off and it will be back to normal with routine use of excessive force, pepper-spraying and other abuse for the migrants to endure.
As the joint statement from French organisations such as La Belle Etoile, GISTI, Secours Catholique, Terre d’Errances, Medecins du Monde, Cimade, the Greens and Amnesty International made clear, this is not a solution to the problem. “It is necessary that the European states no longer abdicate responsibility to their neighbours. European solidarity must become a reality. The Dublin II Regulation has to change, it traps the refugees in a deadlock and leaves them unprotected.” 
For comment, please call:
Notes to Editor:
 Calais Migrant Solidarity is a network of European No Borders activists who are based in Calais and are resisting the police repression of the migrants. CMS conducts twice daily patrols observing police actions, documents and communicates these crimes, creates new safe spaces for migrants, and simply spends time listening to the migrants struggle.
 The fact that the French authorities had given the migrants more than a weeks advance notice of the event, allowing up to 600 to leave the camp and the low-key policing during the event is largely proof of this. Even the French media have started to label Besson  "The Great Barnum". See: http://www.nordlittoral.fr/actualite/la_une/article_1108517.shtml
 See the Twitter posts on the CMS Home page http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/
 See: http://www.nordlittoral.fr/actualite/la_une/article_1108487.shtml. Eric Besson is the French Immigration Minister.
 See: . Also No Borders activist was also arrested yesterday for transporting 3 Iranian's in a car. A number of activists have been arrested under Article 622 of French law, which is aimed at people traffickers, for giving aid to migrants, include driving them to hospital.
 See: http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/2009/09/22/joint-declaration-destroying-the-jungles-a-false-solution/
From the northern Europe, the town of Hamburg, we send you our deep solidarity in your fight for freedom. We fight with you!
Azadi! Freedom of Movement is everybody's right!
no one is illegal hamburg
Motorradselbsthilfe Rote Flora
Dienstag, 22. September 2009
the refugees broke the doors of three cells and the metal doors of the second flour and went out in the yard regainig their freedom in the air that was denied to them so long. they burned some matrasses and clothes and screamed freedom for around 5 hours.
they did not want to escape they said ,if they wanted they could have done it,they wanted to get free and become the paper to be able to continue their journey.
their opinion about greece europa and the human rights is badly disturbed.
"if i would have known i would have never come here" said to us one of the refugees.
during the revolt a bus arived with 40 new refugees.they stayed for hours in the bus having a first impression of what expects them. their transport was also done by two frontex men who know do not have a boat to be out in the sea but control papers in the harbour.
the minors who refused to enter, got the promise from the prefect that they will be left free up to friday and get tickets for the boat. they were not willing to believe the promises they had already heard before. the prefect promised also to reopen the camp of PIKPA near the airport that was opened temporarely during the pressure of the NOBORDER camp, a WELCOME center without police and with open doors.it will be specially for families that can go direktly there and get registered and then leave the island wihtout going to pagani prison. in winter in PIKPa 40 people can stay.
the refugees decided to return to the cells and immediately workers started reparing the broken doors of the prison.but the refugees said if the promises are not kept they will start again a revolt.
the prefekt of mitilini came and promised the refugees that they will be let free in the next two days.
all refugees returned to their cells except 30-40 minors who still are in the yard .they all said that if the promise is not kept they will start again.
the prefekt is now inside the prison and the minors outside.
in the moment 600 refugees are in Pagani and during the revolt a bus with anohter 40 new people arrived.
police is behind the bulding.no one knows what will follow.
come now to PAGANI!
close all prisons!
the womens and childrens trackt on the first flour has no more fences on the windows!
matrasses on fire and part of the prison fences are destroyed .
refugees from the three ground flour cells are outside.
the ones in the first flour are screaming loud AZADI !FREEDOM!
a group of solidar people are outside the prison.
freedom of moovement is everybodys right!
Montag, 21. September 2009
I was talking to an Afghan man who spoke really perfect English and he told me about life in the jungle and being badly treated, not heared and not believed. It was a story of police abuse. When he was arrested some time ago he had badly injured foot, he was afraid it might be broken. The police didn’t believe him and said he was lying. He was denied medical treatment first, but he stood up for himself and didn’t give up. He kept on arguing he needed to go to hospital. Finally he was brought to hospital where he got an x-ray and treatment. Luckely the foot was not broken.
Next police abuse was that some time ago there accidently was a fire in one of the tents. Since this incident the police focussed on pepper spraying the new tent that was build on the place of the old tent. He was wondering why the police would do this.
He was also a victim of the police gassing the water point. Not knowing the water was poisoned he washed his face and drunk the water. His face started burning and inside his chest a burning pain developed. He told me he was not the only one and pointed out a few friends who had the same experience. He said no one would believe his story, but if a whole jungle with hundreds of migrants telling the same story how can he be lying? I told him I believed him and promised to tell his story.
He said okay we don’t have papers and try to cross the channel, but that is not a reason to treat us this badly. We did not run away from our country because we had a good life there. We do not stay in the jungles because we want to. Who choose to live in a place like this? Nobody! And last but not least; We are humans just like you.
Samstag, 19. September 2009
Freitag, 18. September 2009
Donnerstag, 17. September 2009
This morning at 10 o’clock, ten noborder activists from Austria, Sweden, Spain, France, Czech Republik, Portugal, the Netherlands and Germany occupied the roof of the refugee jail in Pagani. With this action, we are increasing the pressure to finally get Pagani closed.
The activists state:
During the noborder camp, we were able to witness the brutal consequences of the European border regime here in Lesvos. A ship employed by the European border agency Frontex is hunting refugee boats, the Greek coast guard and the Navy do the dirty work. Human lifes don’t count.
Those who manage to come to the island alive are sent to the refugee jail in Pagani: permanently more than full, the jail in Pagani reminds us of conditions we rather know from Libya or Marocco. We are outraged about this blatant bleach of Greek and international law.
The activists demand the closure of Pagani, papers for everybody and the abolition of Frontex and the Dublin-II treaty.
Sonntag, 13. September 2009
Donnerstag, 10. September 2009
Communiqué from Mytilini/Lesvos, August 2009
“From Lesvos to an unknown land”: this was the response given by Mr X. at the
NoBorder Camp in Mytilini, when asked where he planned to go after his arrival in
Athens. Mr X. was acting as a spokesperson for a Somalian group, who, along with
migrants from Afghanistan and Eritrea, were released from the “Pagani Welcome Centre”
shortly before the official start of the NoBorder Camp. Pagani, the “reception centre” of
Lesvos; the detention centre with a capacity of 250 people was filled with around 1,000
occupants – men, women and children – in August, when the Camp took place. Needless
to say, Pagani was totally over-booked. A video made with a camera smuggled into the
centre by one of the transit migrants clearly documents the unbearable conditions in
which they were being detained.
In Mytilini a farewell party was thrown for migrants released from the centre. NoBorder
activists, other transit migrants and locals from Mytilini accompanied those leaving on
their way to the ferry for Athens. A moment in which hope and uncertainty, confidence
and lack of prospects, comfort and anxiety was compressed and condensed. A moment in
which the strategy of European border politics to render transit migrants invisible was
broken through by the migrants themselves, with solidarity from activists.
Along with the border control agency Frontex, Pagani attracted much anger and
frustration. Around 500 migrants were released from the centre with papers following
considerable pressure from NoBorder activists. These papers, however, only grant
recipients 30 days habitation in Greece. In this time migrants are expected to organize
their return to their native country. It goes without saying that many use this time to
recover, to contact relatives and friends, maybe to earn some money, and to further plot
out the route to their goal destinations in Europe or elsewhere. This time is used to figure
out what opportunities can be found in the coming journey – or to figure out if it is better
to stay put. It is used to realize the potentiality of “life plans”. Each step is a step into an
Tarifa, a small town previously known only to fans of kite surfing and tuna fishing. Ceuta
and Melilla, footnotes to the Spanish history of colonisation. The Canaries, Europe’s
biggest tanning salon. Lampedusa: an unknown. Lesvos, a small tourist island, an
exemplary observation point for the playing out of European population policies; one of
the many archipelagos of migration and the hope for a better life.
“The right to hope. To many, the borders seem like the gateways to paradise. Before the
borders, lies a flaming moat, which needs to be conquered; Europe is the castle
surrounded by the castle moat. The first contact with those that have managed to get
there always reveals the same story: they tell us that this is paradise. We all want to see
this paradise. We insist on our right to be allowed to see this, on our right to have a
chance” (Tarek, transit migrant).
Today each of these places produces breaking news in the European media. The hotspots
for the detention of Europe’s arriving migrants. Places where the bodies of those who
have died crossing the seas wash up on the shore. Places of detention and places of
transit. Small towns with 10 – 20,000 residents, towns that are militarized by camps and
border police. Small towns onto which the social problems and implications of European
migration politics get pushed. The externalisation of the camp, of deportation, finds its
continuation here. On the negotiation tables of Europe’s metropolitan cities agreements
such as the Dublin II are consolidated, which legalise these barbarities. The abjection of
Pagani is the displacement of these politics onto the edges of Europe.
Shut down Pagani. No ifs, no buts. Disarm the ships and helicopters of Frontex. No ifs,
no buts. Issue the release papers; release the children, the women and the men. No ifs, no
“Our whole continent is searching for hope. The hope to escape from misery through
migration, this hope is the air that we breathe, a music that is always there, a whole
culture. The idea of migration was born in us while we were still young. All over the
world children dream. When you ask a child here ‘what would you like to be when you
grow up – doctor, professor or pilot’, then the child answers: ‘I will become a migrant’.
Someone who has left the country is worth more than everyone else” (Tarek, transit
We belong to the first generation to witness the disappearence of boomgates in the
European Union. The first generation for whom it has become everyday – everything but
normal or self evident – to grow up in multinational, postcolonial, ghettoised,
multilinguistic milieus. We have seen that the desire for free movement can tear down
iron curtains. We have grown up with globalisation, with the internet and computers, with
mobile phones, with interrail, with journeys home over the Autoput and human
compassion that spans across borders. We have come of age with the wars in the Balkans,
with the wars in Somalia, Rwanda and in the Sudan, in Afgahnistan and in Iraq. We have
also grown up with those wars that we repress in our everyday lives. We have come up
against new borders that run through our cities and countries. The presence of terror as
justification for control, for the retraction of civil rights, for detention, internment and
intervention is the mantra of our times. Our life is the change and the transformation: the
death of the old social order, the uprising of Precarity, and the enormous question mark
hanging over the future.
“We are all victim to the lies and promises of television. We believe in these success
stories. When thousands of people fail to migrate successfully, but one person does – we
don’t look at the stories of the thousands, we look at the story of one. The question is
never raised of what s/he does over there, if s/he collects garbage or sells drugs. You
only see what s/he has, when s/he returns: a car, branded clothing, a real life. The people
smugglers profit from this, they promise you what you want to hear. We call them the
sellers of dreams” (Tarek, transit migrant).
Many of us see the desiring gazes focused on the red passports of the European Union.
We are aware of Schengen’s blessing of us and its curse on others. Do you believe that
we are not enraged by these conditions, that we position ourselves as the profiteers of this
system? Do you think that we don’t see how these insidious border regimes make the
travels of transit migrants more and more dangerous with every passing day? Does
anyone really believe that the coming citizens of Europe, in the most truthful sense of the
word, do not use their hands to work, do not use their understanding to think, do not use
their masses to assemble, just because migration is made illegal? Everybody knows that
this work, this exploitation and this mobility, is the basis that allows the European
constitution to function.
“The cat hunts the mouse and the mouse is always faster. And so are we, always.
Migration existed since ever, since the beginning of human existence and why should that
end now? In Africa nothing is changing actually. So our families sent us on the journey,
which changed us so much that we are not able to go back. I came here by accident. And
it is the best journey ever. The track has been the best experience of my life” (Jean-
Marie, transit migrant).
What we want is simple. We want the right to travel in safety. The legal codification of
these pathways. The normal state of arrival and travel instead of a constant state of
exception. So that everyone can arrive, unpack their suitcase in peace and become a
citizen of Europe, if they so desire.
Citizens of Europa 2009:
Frank John (Communist book-keeper and freelancer, Hamburg), Efthimia Panagiotidis
(Sociologist, lecturer “Lehrkraft für besondere Aufgaben”, Uni- Hamburg, transit e.V.),
Arndt Neumann (Historian, Hamburg), Irene Hatzidimou (Organiser ver.di,
Hamburg/Hannover), Gerda Heck (Research centre for intercultural studies, Uni Köln),
Lena Oswald (Political scientist, Hamburg), Meike Bergmann (Manager dock europe
GmbH), Vassilis Tsianos (Sociologist, Associate Professor Uni Hamburg), Miriam
Edding (Member of the Board of ‘Foundation DO’, Hamburg), Jan-Ole Arps (Political
scientist, Berlin), Ole Bonnemeier (Doctor, Hamburg), Andreas Georgiadis (independent
Master mechanic), Christoph Breitsprecher (Linguist, lecturer/research assistant, Uni
Hamburg), Anja Kanngieser (Cultural Geographer/research assistant,
Melbourne/Hamburg), Aida Ibrahim (Student, Uni Hamburg), Marion von Osten
(Cultural producer, Professor Vienna, transit e.V. Berlin), Peter Spillmann (Cultural
producer, Labor K3000/Zürich, transit e.V.), Marianne Pieper (Sociologist, Professor
Hamburg), Angela Melitopoulos (Filmmaker, transit e.V.), Athansios Marvakis
(Associate Professor Aristotele University Thessaloniki), Petra Barz (Manager dock
europe GmbH), Daniela Lausberg (Pädagogin, Forschungsstelle für interkulturelle Studien,
Uni Köln), Michael Koenen(Student, Uni Köln), Mark Terkessidis (Journalist, Berlin), Karin
Cudak (Studentin, Uni Köln), Erika Schulze (Sozialwissenschaftlerin, Forschungsstelle für
interkulturelle Studien, Uni Köln), Susanne Spindler (Sozialwissenschaftlerin, Professorin,
Darmstadt), Ugur Tekin (Sozialwissenschaftler, Forschungsstelle für interkulturelle Studien,
Uni Köln), Indra Röglin (Studentin, Uni Köln), Andreas Hollender (Graphiker, Köln),
Christiane Hess (Historikerin, Hamburg/Bielefeld), Despina Altinoglou (Lehrerin, Hamburg),
Eleni Altinoglou (Mytilini), Peter Holzwarth, Angelika Hipp (EU - project management;
Neue Arbeit Zollern-Achalm e.V.), Valery Alzaga, Nadine Gevret,
to be continued
Dienstag, 8. September 2009
a flyer from the noborder week:
Do you know… [some truths about refugees – migrants]
…what a secure repatriation operation is?
> It means scuttling of refugee boats, circling them to create waves, destruction of the engine and stealing of the paddles. The disabled boats are then pushed out of Greek waters by waves and currents.
…how the Greek coastguard and Frontex are treating the refugees they find?
> They steal their money, hit them and shoot in their direction so as to scare them.
…how many refugees drowned in the Aegean Sea during the last 20 years?
> There are 1.100 verified deaths and an unknown number of missing persons.
…how many refugees died trying to cross the European borders since 1988?
> Official numbers refer to 6.000 persons.
…what exactly is the well-known "reception centre" (jail of) Pagani?
> It is an old warehouse built to store goods, ΝΟΤ people.
…what the authorities claim to be the hosting capacity of Pagani?
> The authorities claim they can "host" up to 300 persons, but many times, there are more than a thousand people being kept inside.
…that there are unaccompanied children kept in this prison?
Even according to the law this is illegal. 150 minors were on hunger strike last days demanding their freedom.
…what are the living conditions of those detained in Pagani?
> Without access to medical treatment, kept in rooms for days without being able to get out to the fresh air, with insufficient legal aid, insufficient access to information about their rights and insufficient sanitary facilities.
…who is responsible for the management of the detention centre?
> the Prefecture of Lesvos is being funded for that by the Greek State and the EU.
…what is the Prefecture supposed to do with this money?
> Apart from providing decent living conditions for the refugees, they are supposed to provide them with tickets to leave the island and take them to the port to reach the ferry.
…what really happens after they are released from the detention centre?
> They are usually released at times and days when they cannot leave on a ferry, ending up walking all the way from the dentention centre and staying homeless and hungry in the city centre and at the port.
Three days ago, 38 refugees were released from the detention centre, with children and a pregnant woman being among them. They were forced to spend the night at the port of Mytilene, without having the opportunity to leave the island since there were no free places in the ferries. Although there are millions of euros spent in the prevention of their entrance in the country, for their detention and their deportation, no one has showed any interest for the situation of these people, neither the official state, nor the local authorities. Finally these people have been invited by the participants of the No Border Camp Lesvos 2009, to join them in the camp's processes and actions.
Actions like these cannot offer real solutions to the problem, they can only be temporary solutions and movements of solidarity. The real matter is not the management of immigration but to overcome the world that creates it and the borders it invents. A world of violence, injustice and exploitation.
Under the current circumstances, our starting point is not negotiable:
Freedom of movement for all, beyond national borders. We do not accept the hostage situation in which large parts of the world's populations find themselves. We refuse to accept the fictional separation between the oppressed, between people with and without papers. Against these modern concentration camps and all nationalist ideologies, we organize our answers and our resistance for a world without borders, without nations and without papers.
As long as there are refugees they will be welcome
No one is illegal
NoBorder Lesvos 2009
Montag, 7. September 2009
Greece: Create Open Centers for Migrant Children
Recent Hunger Strike by 150 Detained Children a Sign of System’s Failure
August 23, 2009
(Geneva) – An estimated 150 unaccompanied migrant children being held in a detention center on Lesvos Island were on a hunger strike for four days to protest their living conditions, Human Rights Watch said today. The protest, reported by local sources, follows recent police sweeps of migrant living quarters in Greek cities. The children ended their strike on Friday, August 21.
Human Rights Watch said that the use of detention for unaccompanied children shows the failure of Greece to fulfill its responsibilities toward these children. Greece should house unaccompanied migrant children in open centers where they can receive care, counseling, legal aid, and other basic services, and enjoy decent living standards, Human Rights Watch said.
A year ago, 100 migrant children detained on another island, Leros, went on a hunger strike for the same reasons. At that time, the Ministry of Health dispatched its deputy minister to solve the crisis and opened additional temporary accommodation.
“That children as young as 12 were again on hunger strike in Greek detention is a gross indictment of the government’s failure to care for them,” said Simone Troller, children’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Greece keeps jailing these children, but still has no system or even a plan in place to house them and cover their basic needs.”
Local sources said that up to 150 unaccompanied migrant children ages 12 to 17 started a hunger strike on August 18, 2009, to demand their release from the overcrowded and dirty conditions in a detention centre in Mitilini, the island’s capital. They resumed eating on August 21. On August 20 and 22, police released around 120 children to open accommodation centers, putting additional pressure on these facilities, some of which already run beyond their capacity. Several dozen, possibly more than 100, unaccompanied children remain in detention. The detention center has space for 300 detainees, but holds more than double that number.
Greece currently provides around 300 places in state care for unaccompanied migrant children, and these are full. Any child who enters Greece is thus likely to end up in detention or on the streets. Human Rights Watch estimated that at least 1,000 migrant children entered Greece without a parent or caregiver in 2008.
A year ago, the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture described conditions in Mitilini detention center as “abominable,” adding that they were “a health hazard for staff and detainees alike.” It urged the government to put in place a plan to guarantee basic hygienic standards even when large numbers of migrants arrive.
A 13-year-old Afghan boy who had been detained for 34 days on Lesvos Island told Human Rights Watch at the end of July: “I faced a lot of difficulties in that [detention center] … everything was very dirty. … In a week, they just let us into the courtyard for 15 or 20 minutes. … We got sick day by day there.”
In a December 2008 report, “Left to Survive: Systematic Failure to Protect Unaccompanied Migrant Children in Greece,” Human Rights Watch extensively documented these children’s daily struggle for survival, their squalid living conditions, widespread experience of police and coast guard violence, exploitation in agriculture and construction, and the risks they face of ending up in the hands of trafficking gangs.
The 1990 Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Greece in 1993, requires Greece to provide protection and humanitarian assistance to all children without a parent or caregiver, including those seeking refuge, with the child’s best interests as a primary consideration. Under this convention, detention should be used “only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.”
Greece grants asylum to only 0.05 percent of applicants at initial hearings, and changes to Greece’s asylum law introduced in July bar meaningful appeal of negative decisions. If children claim asylum in Greece but then go to another EU country, they risk transfer back to Greece under the EU’s Dublin regulation, which stipulates that the first country where an unaccompanied child applied for asylum is in charge of that application.
Asylum interviews in Greece are typically short and superficial. Hafiz, a 16-year-old boy, described to Human Rights Watch how an Iranian interpreter instead of a police officer conducted his asylum interview:
“An Iranian woman asked me questions: why I came and what my difficulties were. There were no police officers present … only the Iranian woman was asking me questions. The police were busy taking fingerprints. … There were too many people at the police station, so they couldn’t do long interviews. They just asked me very simple questions at the police. I answered all the questions she asked me. The questions were short and I couldn’t fully explain my case.”
Unaccompanied children who do not apply for asylum or who have been refused asylum are without regular status and subject to repeated detention or even deportation, in violation of binding international law.
“Greece certainly faces serious challenges in managing migration because of its location and the lack of EU burden-sharing,” said Troller. “But that does not excuse its failure to protect those who are most vulnerable.”